And Finally Artist News Business News Legal

Which direction? Judge admits he’s never heard of boyband

By | Published on Thursday 28 April 2016

One Direction

Three people were found guilty of profiting from the sale on eBay of counterfeit One Direction t-shirts this week. All received prison sentences, despite the judge overseeing the case having no idea who they were ripping off.

“Don’t be surprised to hear that I have not heard of [One Direction]”, said Judge Lawrie, at Plymouth Crown Court, as the case got underway earlier this week. “I am more of a Bach man myself”.

“They are absolutely huge. They are collectively worth about £70 million”, said Nick Lewin, the barrister for one of the accused, failing to heed the judge’s warning not to be surprised. He added: “If you have not heard any of their music, then your honour is definitely blessed”.

Now fully aware of the scale of One Direction’s success and therefore the value of their trademarks, Lawrie found Lewin’s client – and the other two defendants – guilty of selling goods bearing false trademarks. The defendants seemingly ran their fake t-shirt operation for three years and netted around £140,000 from it, according to the Plymouth Herald.

While defending his client, Lewin had argued that the items sold were of good quality and received great feedback from the eBayers who bought them. But, while good buyer feedback is everything in the world of eBay, it means little in the courtroom. So the judge handed out prison sentences of between eight and sixteen months to the three sellers.